A couple weeks ago, I posted my bake of the Whole Wheat Bread from Reinhart's BBA, made with fresh-milled flour. A reply by Karin (hanseata) prompted me to bake the “100% Whole Wheat Bread” from Reinhart's newer Whole Grain Baking book. I had made this bread once before leavened with sourdough starter and didn't particularly care for the combination of sourdough tang and whole wheat flavor, but I thought I really should make it again using instant yeast and with fresh-milled whole wheat.
The differences between the formulas for whole wheat bread in BBA and WGB are clearly evolutionary and illustrate where Reinhart has gone with his thinking about drawing the best possible flavor and performance from whole grain flours. In the WGB version, essentially all the flour is either in a biga or a soaker, with an optional additional small amount used to adjustment dough consistency, if needed.
I followed the recipe in WGB closely, with these choices where there were options: For the liquid in the soaker, I used about 2/3 Greek-style yoghurt and 1/3 2% milk. For the fat, I used canola oil. I added less than an ounce of additional WW flour during kneading.
After bulk fermentation, I shaped a single bâtard which was proofed on a linen couch then baked in a Le Creuset oval roaster (in which it barely fit).
I baked at 425ºF (convection bake) with the cover on the roaster. After 10 minutes, I reduced the temperature to 350ºF, and, after 10 minutes more, I removed the cover. I baked another 20 minutes with the roaster uncovered. At that point, I felt the crust should be darker and firmer, although the internal temperature of the loaf was 185ºF. I removed the loaf from the roaster, placed it on a sheet pan and baked for another 10 minutes. I left the loaf in the turned off oven with the door ajar for another 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.
The crust is thin, slightly crunchy and chewy. The texture of the crumb is moist and chewy – hard to describe but very pleasing. The chewiness is from the larger particles of grain, rather than from the gluten in the crumb. The crumb is otherwise quite soft – almost cake-like. I milled the wheat to the second finest setting. Next time, I plan to mill it at the finest setting, at least for the biga. The flavor is very similar to that of the BBA whole wheat bread but even better. There is no grassiness or bitterness from the bran, just a little sweetness from the honey and the wheat itself and good wheaty flavors. I much prefer this yeasted version to the sourdough one.
This bread does not need any spreads or other enhancements. It is very satisfying plain. But I'm anticipating it will be equally delicious with almond butter or with eggs.
I also baked a couple boules of sourdough bread today. I used one of the formulas from the SFBI Artisan II Workshop, which calls for a liquid levain fed twice a day. These were baked in Lodge Combo Cookers.
Submitted to YeastSpotting